ABC scraps planned 2022 show

The ABC has canned plans for an Australian version of the popular BBC panel show Would I Lie to You?

The new show, which was to be slightly retitled as Would I Lie to You? – The Australian Way, had been planned as a headline feature in the national broadcaster’s 2022 program line-up.

The BBC first aired the program in 2007 and its format in which two opposing teams of celebrities or comedians score points for guessing whether a statement read out by an opposing team member is true or not soon made it a big hit and it is currently in its 15th season.

My sources tell me the local version of WILTY? was to feature Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a team captain in place of David Mitchell from the UK version.

The ABC had also signed a broadcast rights deal with the BBC for what was meant to be an initial 12-episode series of the show.

Mr Morrison secretly taped several episodes at BBC studios in Glasgow while he was in the city for the UN Climate Change Conference (main picture) and the ABC had organised to fly British comedians Rob Brydon and Lee Mack to Australia for further tapings where they would repeat their roles as host and the other team captain.

But my ABC sources tell me that problems arose after Mr Morrison was repeatedly caught telling a lie every time it was his turn to attempt to bluff opposing team members.

“In fact it got to the point where the producers were scrambling to fill the 30-minute episodes because Lee Mack and his fellow team members ended up not even wasting time questioning the PM on his claims,” a source said.

“As soon as Mr Morrison finished reading out the claim written on the card in front of him, Lee and his other two team members emphatically pronounced it to be a lie.

“Even when producers gave Mr Morrison a card with a claim that was actually true, Lee’s team immediately guessed it to be a lie.

“Oddly enough, when that happened Mr Morrison didn’t help matters by agreeing with them – effectively lying about telling the truth. Or lying about not lying. Or maybe he was not lying about lying. Whatever.

“It all got just too difficult let alone confusing so the BBC ended up pulling the plug on the whole idea,” the source said.